The next hearing for five Guantanamo prisoners charged with plotting the September 11 attacks has been postponed for two weeks to allow the defendants to observe the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
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The chief judge in the Guantanamo war crimes tribunals, Army Colonel James Pohl, granted the delay on Monday for the alleged architect of the attacks, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and four co-defendants who could face the death penalty if convicted on charges of conspiring with al Qaeda and murdering 2,976 people in the hijacked plane attacks of 2001.
“Today, the military commission rescheduled its next hearing from August 8-12 to August 22-26 to accommodate a defense request to avoid hearings during the last 10 days of Ramadan,” said defense attorney James Connell, who represents Mohammed’s nephew, defendant Ali Abdul Aziz Ali, also known as Ammar al Baluchi.
The five were arraigned at the Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base in May and their next hearing had already been postponed from June because of scheduling conflicts among the defense lawyers.